Battle of the Books

All posts in the Battle of the Books category

Oregon Battle of the Books

Published June 5, 2019 by neverwearmatchingsox

If you aren’t in Oregon then hopefully students in your state will have some kind of reading competition they can participate in. OBOB is Oregon’s version of this competition.  I am a coach for the 3rd-5th grade division as well as the 6th-8th grade division.  There are 16 books on each list so I have a lot to keep me busy this summer.

   Stef has become embarrassed of Tia Perla.  She is unhappy when Tia Perla picks her up at school, and when Tia Perla shows up at soccer.   It was not always that way though.  Tia Perla really isn’t an auntie, but a food truck.  An old food truck that Stef’s dad owns.  Stef isn’t allowed to walk home alone yet, so how does she get picked up?  The food truck.

This is a story of family, growing up and fighting for what’s right.  This was the first book I read off the list (3rd-5th grade) and it was a great start.


What would you do?  What do you do for your family and loved ones?  What if you didn’t have enough money to pay for life saving medicine?  Would you steal?

Timothy knows that his family has very limited money ever since his dad left. He also has a very sick brother.  Opportunity and timing present itself to Timothy and he makes a decision that forever changes his life.

This is on the 6th-8th grade list for this year..  A read for everyone in your house.

OBOB 2016-17…just getting started

Published February 17, 2016 by neverwearmatchingsox


20454626    So much fun! Capt James Hook has died and his only heir is his daughter, Jocelyn. She has been instructed to avenge her father’s death by killing to crocodile. But she is conflicted….she has lived with her grandfather ever since her mother’s death and he has now sent her off to finishing school to become a proper lady. This is an OBOB title for 2016-17 and I think the kids will have so much fun with it!



13533687      What would you do if your parents were supervillains?  Not every family has zombies living in their basement and not every family has a gyfted kid.  The Dread Duo are doing their best to take over the government while still allowing their son, Joshua, to attend school and make friends.  One day, Joshua discovers his gyft and his world changes yet again.  Book one introduces us to Captain Justice who chases the Dread Duo all over the country.  But is a supervillain always a villain???  And is a superhero always a hero?


7783920   This was a super quick read and to be honest, before it got added to the OBOB list I had never heard of the book or the author. I love when you find something that grabs you enough that you will want to continue on with the series! I think the kids in OBOB will really like this book.


22323698   Historical fiction is not my favorite genre but true to OBOB form, it forces you to try something you might not try…Kate Messner has written some really great stuff (Marty McGuire for starters) and I decided to do this one as a read aloud for library classes.  The kids are engaged and asking questions and those who are participating in OBOB are finding information that may be useful.  This series is up to book 3 currently.

Two non-fiction OBOB reviews

Published August 7, 2015 by neverwearmatchingsox

So these titles are both on the 2015-16 OBOB list for the 3-5th graders.  I always feel that non-fiction is hard to review and these are no different.

In What Was the March on Washington by Kathleen Krull  there were things I learned and things that truly shocked me, but that is maybe the point of historical non-fiction…to get you to feel something. I applaud Kathleen Krull for tackling such emotional and intense subjects. I will encourage kids to read this even after OBOB is finished.


In What Was Ellis Island by Patricia Brennan Demuth,kids will be exposed to another historical time…a time when people fled to the United States in search of a better life….something I can’t imagine.  It serves as a reminder for me that our ancestors worked hard for their families.


Focusing on illustrators: Part 1 Dan Santat

Published April 12, 2015 by neverwearmatchingsox

Illustrators, in my opinion, are the silent heroes of publishing.  Their pictures bring humor and life to a character while making the reader feel something and laugh out loud.  There are some great illustrators out there and among the best, in my opinion, is Dan Santat.  He has illustrated some really fun picture books as well as chapter books (I’m currently reading The Sasquatch Escape out loud to my classes during library time and they all want to see all of the illustrations).  He has a tumblr account and is currently illustrating his kids yearbook (

Here are just a few of the books he has illustrated:

Picture Day PerfectionDog in ChargeThe Homework MachineThe Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary FriendThe Sasquatch Escape

The Lonely Lake Monster and The Rain Dragon Rescue–more of Imaginary Veterinary

Published April 10, 2015 by neverwearmatchingsox

In between reading the 2015-16 OBOB (Oregon Battle of the Books) titles, I try and read something to “cleanse the palate” if you were….or read something silly and fun.  I like the Suzanne Selfors series enough to want to read them all.  Book 2, The Lonely Lake Monster, introduces yet a couple more “imaginary” creatures and more trouble for   Ben and Pearl.17242445

Book 3, The Rain Dragon Rescue, actually tugged at my heartstrings.  Ben and Pearl set out to rescue an enormous rain dragon, while once again, causing a smidge of trouble in the real world. Fortunately for them, Dr. Woo is a very forgiving person while Mr. Tabby is not.  We meet more imaginary creatures and watch the friendship between Ben and Pearl continue to grow.


Book 4 The Order of the Unicorn 18774025

Book 5 The Griffin’s Riddle 22241567   are both on my shelf right as I type…..

The Books of Elsewhere by Jacqueline West

Published March 24, 2015 by neverwearmatchingsox

Sometimes all it takes is a 2nd chance and you could find yourself inside a very fun, edge of your seat read. Lucky for me I felt required to try again as this is on the OBOB list for 2015/16 and a kiddo at school is reading it and he in enjoying it very much.
Olive and her parents have moved into the old McMartin house…a house that neighbors won’t go in to…a house with a mind of it’s own.  This is a ghost story that isn’t too scary; a book of friendship and a book of discovering you may be stronger than you think.
This book has it all….fun cats….a strong female lead…adventure…mystery, fantasy and a spooky house.

This was such a fun book to read.  Can’t wait to read the rest!


Take a peak at her website

Sasquatch Escape by Suzanne Selfors book 1 of Imaginary Veterinary series illustrated by Dan Santat

Published March 19, 2015 by neverwearmatchingsox

What a fun story. This is the first chapter book that I have read outloud to kids during library and they are so enjoying it. Then *voila* it is on the list for OBOB 2015-16…we are ahead of the game! Ben Silverstein, age ten, is sent to stay with his grandfather in Buttonville. Grandpa Abe frequents the senior center, where every day is a treat and pudding day is the most popular!! Enter Pearl Petal, a trouble maker according to the adults, and a new friendship is born. Both Pearl and Ben think they have seen a dragon flying through the air. Was it truly a dragon or is this another of Ben’s “stories”. So glad that this is a series, can’t wait to continue on!!!! Suzanne Selfors has a great website with some Sasquatch Escape related activities 15790869